Some people think that capitalism is in serious decline. Does it really matter? The thing is that capitalism is already dead and buried… but they forgot to write the obituary. The bank bailouts of 2008 were, perhaps, the final nail in the coffin.
Results from a recent survey by Harvard University found that a majority of millennials do not favor capitalism. Interestingly enough, the same survey said that those same millennials favor a free-market system over a government-managed economy. What’s wrong with that picture? The problem is that those two responses stand in stark opposition with one another. That is, you can’t favor a free-market system and in the same breath reject capitalism. Can you?
So, on what level does this make any sense? Here’s how. Those surveyed don’t truly understand what capitalism is. That should be intuitively obvious since, by definition, capitalism is a free-market system. I said should be intuitively obvious.
All that the millennials know is that they object to the 1% controlling most of the nation’s wealth. As a result, capitalism becomes a convenient whipping boy. Little do they realize that a free market system is not truly free if it’s controlled by the same 1%. The truth is that the economy is run in a concerted partnership between corporations (the 1%) and government. Historically, this is more correctly labeled as fascism – not capitalism. Just ask Mussolini.
“Fascism is capitalism in decay.”
Everybody I talk to is so certain of just about everything. It certainly gives the impression that no one is wrong about anything. So, here’s a little pop quiz for those who think that they know everything.
What is a table made out of? If you answered wood, that’s fine. If so, then what is the wood made out of? In other words, what is the essence of matter? For those of you who answered the atom, very good. So what, then, does the atom mostly consist of?
Answer: Its 99.9% empty space. Show of hands. How many got that right?
Back to the original question: What is a table made out of? Best answer: Mostly empty space.
Then, what is reality you might ask. Good question. Karl Pribram, a neurophysiologist and physicist, says that we exist in a virtual reality matrix where our brains construct reality by interpreting frequencies that are projections from beyond space and time. In other words, the physical world is a projection from the quantum world. With regards to how we actually view our reality, science says that 2-D optical impulses are sent to the brain where they are converted into 3-D holographic images. So, where is it that we actually “see” an object? Perhaps, you can now see where I am going with this (no pun intended).
Sleep studies show that we roll over in bed at night, sometimes a lot. After all, we wake up in a different position than when we fell asleep. Since we’re asleep, who tells our body to roll over and why don’t we ever fall out of bed? For that matter, how would we even know where the edge of the bed is, since our eyes are closed? Obviously, we don’t understand what consciousness is and therefore we lack an understanding of who and what we really are.
Then there’s the curious case of our belief systems. Given what was just said, do we even have an accurate view of life? How can one make enough sense out of our perception of reality (since that’s all that it is) in order to make proper decisions (e.g. in order to be able to differentiate between right and wrong). Consider this: science has discovered that decisions are made in our mind even before we are consciously aware of them! So, who really made the decision? Who are we?
One of the wisest men in history was the Greek philosopher Socrates. Socrates understood that no matter how much he knew, his knowledge would be dwarfed by what he did not know. Today, science has confirmed what Socrates knew intuitively. That is, reality is not understandable. As Einstein said, man will never be able to grasp the magnitude of the Universe and we now can appreciate why that is. The source of matter, and therefore the origins of reality, can be traced to the quantum world. It’s a world that we cannot penetrate. We can only theorize what it is like and what kind of natural laws might operate therein.
So you can probably see why I am a little skeptical when people tell me with absolute confidence that they know an answer to a particular question. As a Greek philosopher once said, “Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion” – and now we know that atoms are basically empty space as well.
Aside: Of course, there is no such thing as empty space as what we’re really talking about here is a quantum field.
Life is truly an enigma which scientists are still trying to figure out. As astrophysicist Martin Rees noted, “Life is the most mysterious of all the wonders of creation because atoms have been assembled in such a way so that they can ponder their own existence.” However, because we have a very limited understanding of reality, we can ponder our existence all we want but I believe that our opinions are just that – they are opinions, and not facts. After all, how can you prove something, indeed anything, that you do not understand in the first place? If you believe otherwise, please enlighten me.
“In the world of physics…the shadow of my elbow rests on the shadow table as the shadow ink flows over the shadow paper…the frank realization that physical science is concerned with a world of shadow…”
– Arthur Eddington, astronomer, physicist
This post certainly isn’t Shakespeare. However, it is about a tragedy, a modern-day version. That is, politics rarely results in anything productive. Today, with all the backroom deals and secret handshakes, the world is upside down. As Shakespeare put it, there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark. That said, a little background is probably in order.
After World War I, the Ottoman Empire was carved up by the victors (the Western Powers). They took a magic marker to the map of the Middle East and completely redrew all the boundaries. As a result, countries like Syria and Iraq were created out of thin air.
Further, the British were given a mandate by the League of Nations to administer certain occupied territories in the Middle East which would be used, for among other things, to create a Jewish homeland. That mandate is referred to as the Palestine Mandate, with Palestine referring to what is now the combined areas of Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. The original term of Palestinian referred to anyone then living within the boundaries of this new territory of Palestine, including Christians and Jews.
Fast forward to 1967, at which time various Arab countries attacked Israel in what would become known as the Six-Day War. Those Arab countries, which included Jordan, were on the losing side of that war and as a result Jordan ceded to Israel those lands west of the Jordan River (the West Bank). To the victors go the spoils, or so they say. Ever since, there has been an international dialogue to have Israel give the West Bank to the Palestinians to create a new and separate Arab state.
Making a bad situation worse
Today, the world is stuck with the political deals that the Western Powers made with each other at the end of World War I. Unfortunately, there is no way to unwind what has already been done and moving forward with a reasonable solution has proved to be elusive. So, as world leaders answer the clarion call, it would be good to remember a few salient points:
- There has been a lot of discussion of returning the West Bank to the Palestinians, as if there ever was such a country. However, there has never been a country of Palestine – not in modern times and not even in ancient times. So, creating an Arab state for the Palestinians would not be a case of returning the West Bank to them, but rather it would be creating a Palestinian state for the very first time in history.
- The Palestinians are not the only group in the world without a homeland. There are significant minority populations in any number of countries who have never had their own homeland. For example, the largest minority population in the world is actually the Kurds (who also live in the Middle East). However, there has never been any talk of giving them a homeland.
- If Israel is forced to give up the West Bank, it could set a dangerous precedent. If that were to happen, who might be next? Is it possible that America might be asked to return the Southwestern United States (stretching all the way from California to Texas) back to Mexico, since it was acquired as a result of the U.S./Mexican War.
Unfortunately, a precedent such as this would likely have an unexpected ripple effect. So, is there a reason why the world is hell-bent to make a bad situation worse?
The run-up to WWWIII
Although the status quo is far more palatable to me than the solutions offered up so far, I do have a proposal that might end the stalemate. Actually, it wasn’t very difficult to come up with it either. That is, simply have Israel give the West Bank back to Jordan. Yes, the very same Jordan that the West Bank used to be a part of. Jordan is a pretty stable government and they can probably be counted on to keep the peace. Besides, a majority of the people currently residing in Jordan are actually Palestinians!
Despite its appeal, this proposal will no doubt fall on deaf ears. That’s because there is more money to be made from war than from peace. World War III anyone?
While we’re at it, let’s return North America (Canada and America) back to the Native Americans, have China return Tibet to the Tibetans and give North Korea back to South Korea. Who would like the task of breaking the news to Kim Jong-un?
“The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”
– King Hussein of Jordan
People have asked me if I think that man has really been getting dumber as I mentioned in my recent post Real Life, Real Evolution. Well, the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids, didn’t they? For that matter, we have pyramids dotting the landscape around the world. Somebody built them, right?
It’s really just a matter of DNA. Genetically speaking, man is the by-product of sophisticated instructions contained in our DNA. DNA has software that even Bill Gates admits is far more advanced than any supercomputer. So, tell me, who put those instructions there? If you say that the DNA just evolved then I have to ask you another question. How does DNA just magically evolve and choose, through natural selection presumably, the necessary changes for the survival of the species? Either process requires intelligence.
So, where did the intelligence come from, then? How could man have had a dramatic increase in his intelligence followed by a subsequent, steady decline? Actually, all that it would take is a one-time injection of DNA from another source, a source other than Homo sapiens. You may recall that I have previously mentioned the genetic study by the Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Man is said to have mated with an unknown species. Such a mating could easily have produced a spike in man’s intelligence if that unknown species were more intelligent than Homo sapiens.
Thus, my prior reference to ancient, advanced civilizations, civilizations who seemed to have since vanished off the face of the Earth. Many ancient cultures have stories of intelligent beings who appeared bringing with them the seeds of civilization. For example, the Incas were visited by Viracocha, the Mayas by Kukulkan, the Aztecs by Quetzalcoatl and the Dogon by the Nommos. Most of the “gods” said that they would return, but of course they never did.
The getting dumber part is actually easier to explain, if you assume the scenario I just presented is correct. That is, there would have been far, far more pure Homo sapiens running around than the smarter version. Over time, man’s intelligence would have been diluted, genetically speaking…and it will continue to be diluted in the future until we return to our original intelligence level!
So, there you have it. You probably won’t agree with my explanation but I think that you will find it hard to completely ignore. As Arthur Schopenhauer said, the truth usually works that way.
“The spiral in a snail’s shell is the same mathematically as the spiral in the Milky Way galaxy, and it’s also the same mathematically as the spirals in our DNA. It’s the same ratio that you’ll find in very basic music that transcends cultures all over the world.” – Joseph Gordon-Levitt
My last couple of posts apparently raised as many questions as they provided answers. That’s exactly what was intended. However, due to the interest level, I’ve decided to do a follow-up post to hopefully answer a few of those inquiries.
A question that I posed in one of those posts was: Is man de-evolving? The reason that I asked that question is that man now has a much smaller brain than in Antediluvian times and scientific studies have shown that the intelligence level of man continues to decline, and perhaps has been declining for at least the last six thousand years. In that regard, you have to realize that the Sumerian civilization of the third and fourth millennia B.C. was far more advanced than the vaunted Greek civilization that came much later.
Earth’s recorded history goes back only as far as to the last ice age. At that time, there was a global flood which became firmly embedded in the consciousness of many cultures, resulting in similar stories in the mythologies of different people from around the world. You might think of it as the First Memory.
The flood occurred soon after a pole shift had taken place. The pole shift had affected the planet’s electro-magnetic energy field, causing it to collapse for a short period of time which resulted in a global memory wipe. That’s why there is no pre-flood history; man has no memories of that time. You could say that after the flood, we started over with a clean slate (i.e. no memories).
Our history before the flood is a matter of some conjecture and debate. It certainly appears that there was an advanced civilization on the planet prior to the flood since an array of archaeological discoveries and ancient writings attest to that. While it’s interesting to speculate on what kind of advanced civilization was on the planet at that time (including the age-old debate over Atlantis), it’s probably enough just to understand that such an advanced civilization existed.
If man really is de-evolving, we need a radically different understanding of evolution. Consider, then, that perhaps everything you think that you know about evolution is wrong. Well, not everything…but certainly the most important thing – that we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings having a physical existence. Another way of looking at it is that consciousness is all there is – it is the fundamental reality. This is the secret that some physicists have known about for the past 100 years. Max Planck, the father of quantum physics, let the cat out of the proverbial bag when he declared that, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness.” It might seem counterintuitive to some but, according to Planck, consciousness creates matter and not the other way around.
Time is a key element in evolution. What is little understood, though, is that evolution takes place over extraordinarily long cycles of time. The Mayan Calendar and the Vedic writings are a testament to that. The thing about these cycles is that they have a beginning (a Big Bang) and an end (which some mistakenly refer to as the End Times)…and then another beginning. You could say that it’s an infinite chain of creation and destruction.
Somewhere along the current evolutionary cycle we find man. Is he headed towards nirvana or oblivion? Only time will tell… and only the god of Einstein and Spinoza knows for sure.
Of course, this new post no doubt will raise still more questions… and that’s exactly as it should be. Keep in mind, though, that real life and real evolution require that one participates more fully, more consciously. The answer to your question is you, or as physicist John Wheeler put it, “The universe does not exist ‘out there,’ independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators.”
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku says that he understands the mind of God! In an interview, he said that, “The mind of God that Einstein eloquently wrote about…would be cosmic music resonating through eleven dimensional hyperspace.” So, the question is this: Exactly what kind of a god would that be?
Without really defining God, Kaku said that the laws of physics can give us an idea about what God is like. That is, God would not be a personal god or a god of intervention, a god who parts the waters. However, a universe created by God would be a universe of order, beauty, harmony and simplicity. In short, Kaku believes in the god of Einstein and Spinoza. No doubt, Kaku’s perspective won’t make either religious leaders or atheists very happy.
So, let’s take a look at the beliefs of Einstein and Spinoza. Einstein said that, “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.” While most people are familiar with Einstein, not too many people know about Spinoza. Baruch Spinoza was a famous 17th century Dutch philosopher. According to Wikipedia, Spinoza believed that “…everything is a derivative of God, interconnected with all of existence.” Further, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states that Spinoza’s God is an “infinite intellect.”
While some might disagree, it appears that both Einstein and Spinoza believed in Intelligent Design. However, there’s not much doubt that neither Einstein nor Spinoza believed in the god of the Bible, the god of intervention. So, who exactly, then, was the god of the Bible? Well, let’s just say that the god of Genesis was an interloper of sorts. He definitely had a big ego since he told man that there were no other gods besides him, even though the Bible says that he was not the god Most High. In any event, he certainly would not qualify as the god of either Einstein or Spinoza, that’s for sure.
“Beyond all finite experiences and secondary causes, all laws, ideas and principles, there is an Intelligence or Mind, the first principle of all principles, the Supreme Idea on which all other ideas are grounded.”
Science says that man evolves by natural selection, although it’s never been shown exactly how that works. Along comes molecular evolutionary biologist Masatoshi Nei who says that mutation, not natural selection, drives evolution. Whether its natural selection or mutation, or a combination of both (or neither), it has never been enough to sustain a species since 99% of all species that ever lived, including every one of man’s hominid ancestors, have become extinct. As the fossil record demonstrates, extinction is a perfectly natural response to changing environmental conditions. So, is man next?
We have been taught to believe that man is constantly, yet ever so slowly, evolving in an upward direction over thousands, if not millions of years. At least, that’s what we have been taught to believe. At the end of the last ice age, man was barely eking out an existence, all the while living in caves. Suddenly, in the 4th millennia B.C., man overnight (in evolutionary terms) started doing miraculous things, like building fantastic pyramids. This process occurred supposedly over a period of two thousand years, give or take. Again, that’s what we’ve been taught.
There is a certain amount known about the two great civilizations that developed after the last ice age – ancient Egypt and Sumer (Mesopotamia). Strangely enough, though, both of those civilizations arose abruptly and disappeared almost as abruptly. So, the question is this: Where did the knowledge and advanced technology come from to build these civilizations and why did their knowledge simply vanish? Great pyramids were built in China, Egypt, Eastern Europe, South and Central America, among other places. The thing is: Has anyone built a great pyramid lately? Why not? From the end of the Indus Valley civilization in 1300 B.C. to the nineteenth century, a period of over 3,000 years, man actually accomplished precious little. Having built the pyramids, among other great archaeological works, man was still driving around in a horse and buggy (chariots having been first invented around 2500 B.C.). That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Here’s how it’s possible, though. You see, underwater ruins from around the world are an indication that an advanced civilization existed on this planet prior to the end of the last ice age. The rise in the world’s oceans that accompanied the end of that ice age, sent monolithic structures, and even whole cities, to the bottom of the sea where they remain today. The world is just now rediscovering such sites – from India to the Black Sea to the North Sea to the Caribbean to the South Pacific, among others. This radically changes the evolutionary timeline for modern man, pushing it back by thousands of years, assuming, that is, that modern man even built these sites. Perhaps, there were even two different civilizations living side-by-side with one another. After all, a recent genetic study shows that in ancient times modern man had sex with an unknown species.
Unbeknownst to many, de-evolution has already been observed in nature. For example, recent genetic research has shown that the worm has evolved to be less sophisticated than its ancestors. The implications of this discovery are quite profound in that it shows that a species can de-evolve to a more primitive form. That really shouldn’t come as a big surprise because man used to have a much bigger brain as revealed by scientists’ discovery of the remains of a 28,000 year-old Cro-Magnon man. Further, the results from recent scientific studies show a decline in man’s intelligence. Exactly in what direction, then, is the species really headed? It might just be possible that man has actually been de-evolving.
Some geneticists claim that man’s DNA is currently in the process of evolving from a 2-strand double helix to a 12-strand helix. So, possibly we could see yet another dramatic spike in evolution, not unlike the Cambrian Explosion which was biology’s equivalent of the Big Bang whereby a vast number of life forms came into existence in a blink of an eye, so to speak. Either way, de-evolution or evolutionary spikes, evolutionary theory will need a major rewrite.
“Trying to read our DNA is like trying to understand software code – with only 90% of the code riddled with errors. It’s very difficult in that case to understand and predict what that software code is going to do.”
– Elon Musk
According to the Bible, man was created to till the Garden, of Eden that is. It’s part of a recurring thread that runs through the Bible. I’m talking about slavery, servitude or whatever term one may choose to refer to it.
In Exodus, Moses receives the Ten Commandments from God. In addition, he also receives a multitude of other laws and instructions that was referred to as the Book of the Covenant (see Exodus 24:7). One of the more interesting things in the Book of the Covenant is the discussion of slavery. The text goes like this:
“If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing…And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do (Exodus 21:2,7).”
The Israelites had so sooner been freed from slavery in Egypt than they enslaved others, including their own kind (Hebrews). A man could even sell his daughter into slavery. So, slavery is actually permitted by God himself; it’s even a part of the Tenth Commandment. Is there a biblical precedent for this?
Well, yes, as a matter of fact there is. In Genesis 9:24-27, it says, “And he (Noah) said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. And God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Apparently, the only righteous person that God could find believed in the concept of slavery, in this case condemning many of his own descendants into servitude.
However, the origins of slavery actually go back further, all the way back to the Garden of Eden. It was in the Garden that man was created to till the garden. Yes, to till the ground, to dress it and to keep it, just like it says in Genesis 2:5,18.
Contrary to popular belief, then, man was not created for the express purpose of worshiping God, or to be fruitful and multiply for that matter. With respect to procreation, Eve was an afterthought (see Genesis 2:18-24 and 1 Corinthians 11:9) and Adam and Eve did not have children until after they left the Garden. Besides, prior to eating from the Tree of Knowledge, man was unaware of his sexuality. This is what was meant by the passage in Genesis 2:25 which states that Adam and Eve were naked and they were not ashamed.
God could have condemned slavery at any point in man’s evolution, not unlike his condemnation of taking a human life (in the Ten Commandments) or his admonition not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge (in Genesis 2). Of course, free will being what it is, man was going to make less than perfect choices. That was to be expected. In fact, an omniscient God would have known that it would happen (even before he created man he would have known). However, God never took a stand. He never said that it was wrong. There wasn’t even any punishment for it. What’s wrong with this picture?
There are only a couple of possibilities to explain all of this. Stop me if you have heard this from me before. Either God isn’t very godly (in fact, he wasn’t even omniscient), or the god of Genesis is not God. Your choice. Myself, I would simply say that the god of Genesis was the very source of the cultural mores that said that slavery was acceptable. After all, he created man to till the garden, didn’t he?
“Much that the Bible says about him (God) is rarely preached from the pulpit because, examined too closely, it becomes a scandal.”
– Jack Miles, God: A Biography
The origins of the Jewish people are a real mystery. That is, there is little to no evidence of exactly who they were, not even in the Old Testament (which is essentially a history of the Jewish race).
The Jewish people believe that their roots go back to the Old Testament (the Jewish Bible). For example, in the Old Testament, the Jewish people are called Israelites and prior to that Hebrews. However, these designations only appear in the Bible and they have never been placed in the context of ancient history. So, let’s explore who the Jewish people really were.
Biblically speaking, the origins of man, and by definition the Jewish people, goes back to the Garden of Eden. Now, the Garden of Eden is generally considered by biblical scholars to have been in the Middle East. Where, exactly, has been somewhat difficult to pin down, however. The Bible does say, though, that Abraham and his family came from the city of Ur and since Ur was located in the ancient Mesopotamian kingdom of Sumer, Abraham was by definition a Sumerian. Since Abraham was a Sumerian, so too were the Jewish people since they were Abraham’s descendants.
Family trees aside, there is virtually no real history in the Bible prior to Abraham. For a period covering over one thousand years, all that we have is two stories, the Creation Story and the Flood Story. The elephant in the room is this. Why is there no real family history of the Jewish people prior to Abraham? Why?
Since Abraham and his family were Sumerians, let’s start by examining Sumerian history. Now, the Sumerians were perhaps the greatest civilization that ever existed on the planet up until the 20th century, far beyond that of the vaunted Greek civilization that came over 1,000 years later. What’s important to realize is that the origins of Western Civilization go back much farther than Greece. Their origins actually go all the way back to Sumer, as the Sumerians almost single-handedly invented civilization.
Samuel Kramer, in his book History Begins at Sumer, lists 39 “firsts in history” which began in Sumer, including the first written language. The Sumerians wrote the first Great Flood and Creation stories, long before Genesis was penned by Jewish scribes. Not surprisingly, many historians and scholars have concluded that the Bible’s own creation and flood stories are actually of Sumerian origin, drawn from more ancient Sumerian texts. When you think about it, why shouldn’t the Jewish scribes have patterned their creation and flood stories after Sumerian writings. The Jewish people were Sumerians, after all. The Sumerian writings were their legacy.
The Jewish people wandered around the Middle East for the better part of two thousand years – from Sumer to Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) to Egypt to Judea and Samaria (modern-day Israel) and then on to captivity in Babylon in the 6th century B.C. When they wound up in Babylon, their journey had come full circle back to ancient Sumer, as Babylon would have been part of Sumer if it had existed back then. When the Jewish people were in captivity in Babylon, the Persians ruled over most of the Middle East, the Achaemenid Empire it was called with Babylon as its capitol. The Jewish people thus became a very tiny minority within that empire.
Up until that time, no civilization on Earth had a monotheistic religion except one, the Persians. The Persians’ religion is called Zoroastrianism. Their God is named Ahura Mazda and he was considered to be omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Creation was accomplished in six days and began with a single couple. Just like Moses, the Persian prophet Zoroaster received God’s commandments on the top of a holy mountain. Perhaps, you can already see where I am going with this.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Up until this point, the Israelites were basically polytheistic. However, their beliefs were about to get a face-lift as Israelite culture would collide head-on with the religion (Zoroastrianism) of the ruling Persians. Furthermore, in Babylon, they came face-to-face with their forgotten past as the ancient Sumerian texts had been preserved and were available for the Jewish scribes to read.
The mixture of these elements was tantamount to cultural dynamite and the result was the Old Testament and a new radical worldview – monotheism. Over time, monotheism would spread around the world through Christianity and then Islam. As for the Sumerians, they have been all but forgotten… although, today, some of them constitute what is commonly referred to as the Jewish people.
A genetic study of Ashkenazi Jews traced the roots of many Jewish people to just four women whose genetic origins come from an unknown source. It appears that their unknown genetic origins may have been confirmed by a DNA study done by the Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. That study found that ancient man had sex with an unknown species. Yes, the Ashkenazi Jews and ancient man both received DNA from an unknown species – unknown to everyone, except for the Sumerians who wrote about it in their ancient texts. They referred to this DNA as the DNA of the gods. This, then, was the legacy of the Sumerians – a bloodline that reached back to the gods, a bloodline which, by virtue of its genetics, gave them and their descendants a divine right to rule.
“With stunning abruptness… there appears in this little Sumerian mud garden… the whole cultural syndrome that has since constituted the germinal unit of all the high civilizations of the world.”
– Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God
According to Genesis 4:26, man first began to call upon the name of the Lord during the days of Seth, a son of Adam. The question is, “What was the Lord’s name?”
The ancient Hebrew text of the Old Testament uses a Tetragrammaton (four Hebrew letters) for the Lord’s name. This Tetragrammaton is commonly transliterated as YHWH as the ancient Hebrew language had only consonants. It is generally spoken as Yahweh (or perhaps Jehovah). However, outside of the Bible, there is no record of Yahweh prior to 1200 B.C. or thereabouts. So, when man first began to call upon the name of the Lord in Genesis (circa 3000 B.C. according to the timeframe given in the Bible) what did they call him?
Further complicating things is the fact that the Hebrew language had not yet come into usage at the time of Genesis. That wouldn’t occur for almost 2,000 years. Obviously, then, the name of the Lord that was first used by the ancient Israelites was not Yahweh. There are only two possibilities, therefore, that I can think of to explain the use of the name Yahweh. Yahweh could be a translation of a name from an older language or older text or, since many historians believe that the origins of the name Yahweh was actually that of a pagan Canaanite god, perhaps the Israelites didn’t even know what their Lord’s original name was. In any event, the name was considered so sacred that they were not allowed to speak it.
One thing that is fairly certain, though, according to the Bible. That is, Yahweh was not the Prime Creator, if in fact he was a god at all. This is clearly explained in Deuteronomy 32:8-9, as follows: “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s (Yahweh) portion is his people; Jacob (Israel) is the lot of his inheritance.”
So, the Most High god was not Yahweh, or whatever his name might have been at that time. So, perhaps we’ve all been asking the wrong question. The better question would be: “Who was the Most High and what was his name?”